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Last year in Pullman, the Stanford Cardinal held onto the lead, heading into the fourth quarter, but a late Luke Falk touchdown gave the Cougars a 24-21 victory. It would’ve been a surprising win for Stanford, who had only nine first downs and 198 total yards of offense.

In that same game, Stanford’s leading rusher, Bryce Love, made up for nearly 35-percent of offense, while J.J. Arcega-Whiteside caught only three balls for 52 yards. Stanford’s Bobby Okereke did lead the charge on defense, recording six tackles and an interception against Falk, who, after this game, finished his season with five more picks.

Last 5 Meetings – Stanford vs. Washington State

2013: Stanford 55 – 17 Washington State

2014: Stanford 34 – 17 Washington State

2015: Stanford 30 – 28 Washington State

2016: Washington State 42 – 16 Stanford

2017: Washington State 24 – 21 Stanford

A season later and Washington State is looking like Pac-12’s best team. Gardner Minshew knows his way around the field, throwing for over 2,700 yards with 23 touchdowns. In fact, seven different Cougars have over 20 receptions on the season; Stanford can attest to only three receivers of the same frequency.

It gets harder on Stanford because Washington State has bigger threats on defense – five different players have one interception each. Of the defense, S Jalen Thompson and LB Jahad Woods are Costello’s main worries, while LB Peyton Pelluer has 40 tackles over the last four games.

RB Bryce Love

Stats vs. Washington State: 5 carries, 68 yards

Player notes: While Bryce Love had a massive 43-yard gain and another 18-yarder, his performance tanked in the second half. He would also re-tweak his sensitive ankle, which led to David Shaw lessening Love’s playing time in favor of Trevor Speights.

Gameday grade: C-

Draft stock: Mid-second

Week 10 preview vs. Washington: To put it brutally, Love has done very little for the Cardinal this year. They haven’t been able to rely on him for first downs or for staying healthy. Though Huskies LB Burr-Kirven is their everything man, Washington’s run defense has been pretty stout. In fact, they allowed 125 yards to UCLA and the only time they’ve allowed two-digit run games is once…to BYU.

TE Kaden Smith

Stats vs. Washington State: 9 receptions, 112 yards, 1 touchdown

Player notes: A scary moment for Smith in the final quarter, where a Darrien Molton hit nearly cost him the rest of Smith’s game. Beforehand, Smith had a comeback game from Week 8, stockpiling large gains of 14, 20 and 36 yards. The last two happened on the same drive, which led to a Costello-Smith connection in the end zone.

Gameday grade: B+

Draft stock: Early fourth

Week 10 preview vs. Washington: The Huskies haven’t faced a talented tight end like Kaden Smith all season. Even then, they manage to keep everyone quiet. The name of the game for Smith in Week 10, however, is clearing the second line of defense, which will be the daily challenge in itself. If Smith can do that, then defensive backs Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp await him in the cover game.

OG Nate Herbig

Player notes: DNP

Gameday grade: N/A

Draft stock: N/A

Week 10 preview vs. Washington: Stanford needs every bit of contribution from its offensive line, but it’s rather incomplete if its anchorman Nate Herbig isn’t physically well. Ben Burr-Kirven is wreaking havoc on pretty much opposing 11, recording 20 tackles against Arizona State and another 19 on Oregon, despite 27-30 loss.

MLB Bobby Okereke

Stats vs. Washington State: 6 tackles

Player notes: Like Smith, Okereke would be affected by injury on the short-term. Overall, he didn’t keep Minshew on his toes, since he threw for over 400 yards. Okereke did, however, keep Cougs RB James Williams to 30 yards, but scored two touchdowns.

Gameday grade: C

Draft stock: Early fourth

Week 10 preview vs. Washington: With the pass-run balance of Washington, Okereke has an opportunity to make his 2018 campaign super special. Obviously, Myles Gaskin is the ground threat; it should be noted that Washington’s run offense hasn’t seen a sub-100 game all season.

Gaskin, however, was unavailable for the Huskies 10-12 loss to Cal, with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately for Stanford, Okereke himself might be a little shaken up for the trip to Husky Stadium because of an injury in the fourth quarter in Week 9.

CB Alijah Holder

Stats vs. Washington State: 10 tackles

Player notes: Cougs WR Dezmon Patmon would prove to be too much for Holder, regardless of his 10-tackle stat sheet. For instance, Holder allowed Patmon to escape with gains of 11, 12, 13 and 17 yards. At the end of the day, Patmon finished with 10 receptions, 127 yards, and a touchdown. Meanwhile, another Cougs receiver, Travell Harris, managed to carry Holder with him for 15 yards.

Gameday grade: C-

Draft stock: Late fifth

Week 10 preview vs. Washington: Aaron Fuller will likely be delegated to Paulson Adebo, but for Holder, a 6-foot-4 Ty Jones sits patiently. For Jones, Weeks 1-4 were his strike-while-the-iron-is-hot moments, but the two inches that separate him and Holder’s eye level will make all the difference.

Jones is a rather stoic receiver and Holder’s a very aggressive cornerback, so the duality among the two’s play styles will be on deck in Week 10.

Credit to NCAA.com for providing the stats.

Sports Al Dente 2018